KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is embarking on an awareness programme this year and the next as part of its five-year plan to inculcate sustainability in local exporters under its newly launched corporate share values called Sustainability Action Values for Exporters (SAVE).
Its chief executive officer Datuk Wan Latiff Wan Musa said the agency was the first to implement the SAVE approach, and it would not be a one-off programme.
"This year, we already have several programmes targeted at internal and external stakeholders. Going forward, we will do a lot of awareness programmes.
"We will do the certification and work together with other parties such as Standards Malaysia," he told reporters after the launch of SAVE by deputy secretary-general of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry Hairil Yahri Yaacob here today.
The objective of SAVE is to influence the adoption of sustainability practices based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among Malaysian exporters as a strategy to give them a strategic export advantage.
SAVE Programme which is also in line with the recently launched Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, will be executed in phases, and this year it will focus on capacity building initiatives to address the low awareness of sustainability and responsible business among the local exporters.
Wan Latiff said Matrade would also embark on benchmarking exercise to measure SAVE programme against other developed countries that had adopted sustainability in their business operations, in the second half of 2020.
"We are probably looking at several big companies in Malaysia that already adopted a benchmarking," he added.
Wan Latiff noted that there was a rapid rise in the awareness and adoption of sustainability around the world.
"The global marketplace has now placed the sustainability agenda and responsible business as a key benchmark for trade transactions, and it is inevitable that all players in such a marketplace to prepare themselves to be more responsible for the natural environment as well as for the safety and rights of all people involved, including customers, employees, vendors and the general public.
"Furthermore, it is imperative to demonstrate the adherence of good corporate governance with the practice of integrity and ethics, ” he said.
Wan Latiff noted that there was a need to equip Malaysian exporters with knowledge and information they need in making strategic and responsible decisions in their sustainability practices. - Bernama